Many things in education have changed in the country over the past twenty years – many more children go to school, have easier access to information, spend more hours a day studying, get more marks in school, and study science and become engineers. A few things have however remained the same, especially for low and middle-income families – parents’ pressure on children to do well in exams, the rote method of schooling, and the limited access to hands-on learning (especially for science).
Thus, while the fast changing world of technology has opened up opportunities and brought jobs to so many, there are many more who despite years of hard work to get “qualified” as engineers are found to be “unemployable”. We believe the key reason for that is that science in most schools in India is taught through text-books, with hardly any experimentation or hands-on activities. With our obsession with marks and grades, and the far from creative examination system, it is no wonder that most children acquire qualifications, but not a conceptual understanding. Sadly, while the elite and the privileged have access to better infrastructure and teachers, the problem is most stark in the low and middle income segments.
Most of us have had those “aha” moments, when the science that we learnt in class made sense when we saw its application in real life. The moment we understood why Helium makes a balloon fly, how the cycle pedal moves the wheel, and why sound echoed against mountains. We believe that these moments of discovery do not have to entirely by chance, we can trigger them in free learning spaces or informal science environments.
The Idea Of DoScience!
We at DoScience have come together with the objective of creating free learning spaces for children to play with science, to explore science and to discover science. We believe that by doing science without the rigid structures of classrooms and examinations, children will unearth the unlimited joys of exploring, questioning, analysing, and innovating. This will open their minds to curiosity and creativity, and help them graduate from “How?” to “What else can I do with this?” Such inquisitive minds will drive innovation and lead change.
Support Us To Set up DoScience! Centres In Hyderabad
We plan to set up 5 DoScience! centres across Hyderabad over the next three years. We have leased 5,000 sq ft area from the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority, for our first DoScience! centre in the sprawling, centrally located Sanjeevaiah Park.
We have identified 30 robust exhibits, each of which demonstrates a fundamental principle of Physics. These exhibits are being custom developed by the Birla Science Centre. Some of the exhibits are included below.
Rooted In Hyderabad, DoScience! Is Our Attempt To Initiate A Change
We are a team of experienced professionals who have built businesses and led large teams. We have roots in Hyderabad, and are passionate about making a positive contribution. You will find the profiles of some of our team at Aparna Vishwanatham
, Akhil Vishwanatham
and Malini Parmar
Our NGO, Bookmark Projects (Trust registration 135/IV/16), is set-up with the objective of creating a network of hands-on science centres in public spaces, easily accessible to the low and middle income communities. We have Income Tax exemptions under Section 12AA and 80G of the Act. So, all donations will get Income Tax exemption. We however can accept only rupee donations.
How Can You Help?
The initial project cost for the first DoScience centre is Rs. 70 lakh, entirely towards the set-up of the project. All subsequent expenses will be fully met through ticket revenues (Rs. 50 per person for a day’s access to the centre). All government school students will be provided free entry to the Science centres at all times.
Over the 5 year period, we expect to provide an enriching science learning experience to over 3 lakh visitors, and will also be able to convince other cities and governments to set up hands-on science centres in their public spaces.
Our exhibits are currently being fabricated at the Birla Science Centre in Hyderabad, with the funding made by the Trustees. We will start the first phase of the Centre by end-June 2017, and the complete Centre end-July 2017.
Please join us in changing the landscape for science learning in India. Help us in creating a culture of science and innovation in the country. Contribute to support DoScience!
We look forward to showing you around the DoScience centre when you are here. In the meantime, you can reach us at email@example.com for any discussion.
PS. Your 80G acknowledgement will come along with 5 entry tickets that you can use any time in the next five years.